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What Determines Earnings and Employment Risk

  • Guiso, Luigi
  • Jappelli, Tullio
  • Pistaferri, Luigi

Expectations and riskiness of future earnings are crucial determinants of individuals' intertemporal choices. Yet, the empirical literature lacks reliable measures of the distribution of future income. Lacking direct observability, the latter is usually estimated inferring the mean, the variance and other moments of the distribution from income realizations on panel data. In this paper we rely instead on subjective expectations available in the 1995 Survey of Household Income and Wealth, a large random sample representative of Italian households. The survey elicits information on the distribution of future earnings and the probability of employment in a very simple and parsimonious way. Based on the responses, we estimate the individual distributions of expected earnings conditional on working as well as unconditional. We can then relate various moments of these distributions to demographic and economic variables observable in the cross-section.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2043.

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Date of creation: Dec 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2043
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  1. Jeff Dominitz, 1998. "Earnings Expectations, Revisions, And Realizations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 374-388, August.
  2. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, . "Perceptions of Economic Insecurity: Evidence from the Survey of Economic Expectations," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1105-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  4. Christopher J. Flinn, 2002. "Labour Market Structure and Inequality: A Comparison of Italy and the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 611-645.
  5. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Using Expectations Data to Study Subjective Income Expectations," Econometrics 9411003, EconWPA.
  6. Martin Browning & Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1999. "Micro Data and General Equilibrium Models," Discussion Papers 99-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  7. Das, Marcel & Donkers, Bas, 1999. "How Certain Are Dutch Households about Future Income? An Empirical Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(3), pages 325-38, September.
  8. Karen E. Dynan, 1993. "How prudent are consumers?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 135, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1990. "Consumption puzzles and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 113-136, January.
  11. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  12. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Dynan, Karen E, 1993. "How Prudent Are Consumers?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1104-13, December.
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